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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    3

    Default What's the Law Defining a Life Tenant's Rights and Responsibilities

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Pennsylvania

    Where can we get a copy of the Pennsylvania Life Tenant's rights and responsibilities.
    Father left life estate to his girlfriend.
    She assumes the remainderman (children to inherit property) are financially responsible for major home repairs (roof, sidewalk, furnace etc). However also calls for electric repairs and rerouting gutters.
    The will specifically states that she is granted "life estate" with no other specifics.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: What's the Law Defining a Life Tenant's Rights and Responsibilities

    I found the following brief summary; you may want to go to a local law school library to read the passage in full:
    Quote Quoting Ladner on Conveyancing in Pennsylvania. 1.03 (4th ed.1979, Sup.1994).
    A life tenant is entitled to possession and enjoyment of the property as long as the estate endures. He may convey, lease or otherwise alienate his interest, but he may not disregard the rights of those who take when his life estate ends. Therefore, he is responsible for ordinary repairs and maintenance, but improvements of a permanent nature, without the acquiescence of the remaindermen, are at his own expense even though the property in thereby made more valuable.
    Depending upon the nature of the electrical repairs at issue, they might be the responsibility of the life tenant, remaindermen, or both. Routine maintenance tasks like regrouting would normally be the obligation of a life tenant.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: What's the Law Defining a Life Tenant's Rights and Responsibilities

    Thank you,
    We assumed that would we have to repair the septic. The lawyer who read the will told us that remaindermen are responsible for major structural repair ie: roof, foundation etc. So, I guess we assume the septic fits into that. Since it is not cut and dry, it would probably be cheaper to repair it then to waste time and money going to court over it. I just wish the life estate was not such a wishy washy document. I like black and white and this appears to be nothing but a gray situation. Thank you for your help.

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